Page 123 article text (OCR)
THE PALM BEACH POST ' SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6, 1997 7A Case may have to be taken to grand jury Collection going to U.S. museum T7TT7T" 4fP M z) f 2.7 A r X" '' I J! RAMSEYS From 1A ment of her family's expensive home here last Dec. 26, and the story has been steady grist for the tabloid press ever since. Yet from the outset, the investigation has been hobbled by police missteps and infighting both within the police department and between police and the city's district attorney. , The city's longtime DA, Alex Hunter, has been criticized for being too solicitous of the dead girl's parents and for being too cozy with some members of the large team of legal advisers re- V I K?x lite j .VtT-r-ra.; t )V 7 tJ VJ , -- ..;-. .." ,'v-.. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS The collection of 250 letters and papers written and kept by Edith Hahn (above) during World War II brought the equivalent of $169,250 at an auction by Sotheby's in London on Friday. LETTERS From 1A Philadelphia businessmen: Drew Lewis, transportation secretary in the Reagan administration and a retired corporate executive, and Dalck Feith, an entrepreneur in steel and a survivor himself. By doing so, they ensured that her legacy would not be dispersed and that she would have money for a cataract operation. Lewis and Feith said that after reading an account of Hahn and the auction in The New York Times on Wednesday, they agreed to split the price and donate the papers to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. "That's the right place," said the 83-year-old Hahn when reached by telephone at home in Israel. "I was thinking they would end in the dustbin." As recounted through the archive, Hahn was studying law in Vienna and was engaged to a fellow student when the Nazis marched in, driving her and her mother into the ghetto and shipping her to forced labor in Germany. After her mother was deported to her death, Hahn went underground with false identity papers supplied by a non-Jewish friend. In Munich she was courted by a Nazi party member, a vacationing aircraft worker who insisted on marrying her even when she revealed her Jewish identity. She became a German Red Cross nurse, swearing an oath to Hitler, and had a daughter before her husband was captured by the Soviet army. Trapped in the Russian zone after the German surrender, she became a judge under the Communists. Then she and her husband separated and she fled to the West. In 1957, living in London, Hahn married a refugee from Vienna, Fred Beer. Together assumption they were investigating a kidnapping. By the time JonBenet's body had been discovered by her father after being requested to search the house by police the crime scene may have been irretrievably compromised by the friends, family members and clergy who had been trooping through it for hours. From the start, circumstances surrounding the crime focused suspicion on the parents John Ramsey, the CEO of a computer firm, and Patricia Ramsey, a former Miss West Virginia. There were no conclusive signs of forced entry at the home and no footprints in the snow that fell that night. A paint brush from the house was used in combination with a nylon rope to garrote Jon-Benet The parents, even as they assembled a battery of lawyers, publicists, private investigators and handwriting experts, refused for months to talk to the police, though they have steadfastly proclaimed their innocence. That focus on the parents continues, said Beckner Friday. "They do remain under an umbrella of suspicion, but we're not ready to name them as suspects," he said. Their son, Burke, is also being described only as a witness. And two months after police abandoned the "war room" they shared with representatives of the district attorney's office, Beckner said relations with Hunter's staff have been "positive and professional." To the people closest to the scene of the crime, the neighbors of the Ramsey's old faux Tudor house on 15th Street, the lack of progress in the case is nearly as big a mystery as the identity of the killer. "I thought the case would be solved in three days," said Joe Barnhill, who now takes care of JonBenet's little white bichon frise dog, Jacques. "I'm baffled like everyone else." Patricia Limerick, a University of Colorado history professor who lives directly across the street from the house where the Ramsey's lived, said, "My husband and I have never been interviewed by the police. For weeks, I assumed it was a measure of how well the police were doing. Now, I am not so sure." The New York Times contributed to this story. Jained by John and Patricia Ramsey, wealthy and prominent residents of this college town northwest of Denver. The Ram-seys have since moved to Atlanta. The shakeup of the investigation team by Police Chief Tom Koby in early October was designed to put an end to the discord. Both Koby and the former chief investigator, John Eller, have since announced they will retire from the department, Koby at the end of next year. The police chief, who during his last public appearance to discuss the case waved a copy of the U.S. Constitution and lectured the media on its responsibilities, was not present for Friday's news conference. The failure to arrest anyone in the slaving has fueled speculation that Boulder authorities would take the case to a grand jury in a last-ditch attempt to wring new information from friends, neighbors and even the Ramseys themselves. Beckner Friday said that remains an option as does putting the case on an inactive status but he insisted that with a newly "focused and aggressive" team of detectives continuing to work on the case, progress is being made. "I am confident it will be solved," said Beckner, Beckner said investigators have made a formal request to re-interview the Ramseys, but said nothing has yet been scheduled. Boulder law enforcement authorities, working in a city where homicide is rare, have appeared to be ill-prepared to deal with the slaying and the bright glare of bidding might go. "I didn't care if it cost me a million dollars," he said. "I already gave a million dollars to the Holocaust Museum, so I could give another million." The bidding was intense, although Sotheby's did not name the runners-up. Much of the interest, the auction house said, came from literary agents and film producers. At one point, 10 bidders were on the phone, an unusually high number for any auction. The sale price includes a 15 percent commission on the first $50,000 and 10 percent over that. Hahn said nobody could have dreamed up her story. Seeking postwar compensation from Germany, she said, she hired a lawyer who filed her case in Berlin. "They didn't ask for proof," she said. "They said nobody could invent that." She got about $800. But, she said, her archive is the real proof of what happened. "I was there," she said. "I have lived through that time." American Airlines flight from Philadelphia to Fort Worth on Wednesday when he read the article about Hahn and called Feith, a longtime friend and political supporter, from the plane. Lewis, who made a point of saying he was not Jewish but Welsh-Quaker, said he had been struck by Hahn's struggle to survive. "She took a pledge for Hitler to save her butt, which is what I would have done," he said. Feith, who was born in Austria and spent part of the war in the partisan underground smuggling Jews to Palestine while his parents and seven sisters and brothers disappeared without a trace, said Lewis had called with his mind already made up. "He said, 'Dalck, we're going halves, whatever it's going to cost,' " Feith recalled. Feith, founder of Dalco, a steel manufacturing company, and Lansdale Finishers, a painting concern, said he readily agreed, unconcerned where the 7 was thinking they would end in the dustbin. ' EDITH HAHN When told of the sale of her papers and where they were going they visited her former fiance, Joseph Rosenfeld, in Vienna. He gave Hahn the letters and papers she had sent him over the years. Rosenfeld died in the early 1960s. After her husband died in 1984, Hahn moved to Israel. Their daughter, Angela Schlueter, now 53 and a tailor living in London, agreed recently with her mother to put the papers up for auction at Sotheby's to raise money. The auction house estimated the sale would bring $25,000 to $34,000. Lewis, who after leaving the Reagan administration became chairman and chief executive officer of Union Pacific Corp., said Friday he was aboard an YOU AUTO BUY NOW ir.gMpjpli t when they responded to a call I from the Ramsey house and pro-I ceeded for eight hours on the It's not J;:t cur personal charm that gives us such charisna. :Wf -.1' - f1 of the season lowest It's our prices T T. ' J J .-" v - on Fielncrest Charisma mxurv neuui 1 . Save on our entire collection of Fieldcrest Charisma sheets, duvet covers and accessories in luxurious 310-thread count Siipima cotton pu ( Some ophthalmologists have . , rI . Chaise from an , e . u . , mu: Classic come forward, offering, to oper-Dot in apricot, b ate on Hahn's eyes without one; Imperial Stripe ii charge. cy Lace in l David Marwell, the Holo- , whteorparchmlcaust mseum's new""J accessories find: director of collections, said he es Regency Lace in white or was delighted to be getting the , Hahn Archive and would make it ou wnenv ce an extra IWof'': prices. Classic Dot, Impc available to researchers and visi- - 1 ' mi Tranquility floral tors as soon as possible. Orig. Sale NOW Twin sheet 72.00 59.99 47.99 Full sheet 90.00 74.99 55.99 Queen sheet 108.00 89.99 71.99 King sheet 120.00 99.99. 79.99 Standard cases, pr. 78.00 64.99 47.99 King cases, pr. 90.00 74.99 55.99 Imperial Stripe duvet covers & accessories: Orig. Sale NOW Twin duvet cover 240.00 194.99 155.99 Fullqueen duvet cover 290.00 239.99 191.99 King duvet cover 350.00' 289.99 231.99 Standard sham 110.00 89.99 71.99 Bedskirt available at similar savings. Regency Lace duvet covers and accessories: Orig. Sale NOW Twin duvet cover 185.00 149.99 119.99 Fullqueen duvet cover 265.00 219.99 174.99 King duvet cover 330.00 269.99 215.99 Standard sham 90.00 74.99 59.99 European sham 105.00 84.99 67.99 Also available: Elegance sheets, duvet covers and accessories at similar savings. On 3, Palm Beach Gardens. To order, call 1-800-555-SHOr, item reference N918. 10.00 delivery fee; allow 2-4 weeks. Sale ends December 14th. the perfect gift for your bed and bath blGDmingdole'S Limited quantities; selections vary by store. Savlng may not be based on actual tales. Savings arc off orifiinjl prices. Intermediate rrtkjwn$ mjy have hern tA." f NEW EXTENDFP HOLIDAY HOURS: THE GARDENS AT PALW BEACH GARDENS, (561) 625-2000. OPEN SAT. 9-10; SUN 11-7; MON THRU THURS. 10-10. AVENTURA (305) 792-1000. OPEN SAT 9-10; SUN. 11-7, SAT 9-10; SUN. 11-7; MQ'.. TO THURS 10-10. VALET PARKING IS AVAII BLE.